« ZurückWeiter »
the officer's compensation for quarters. Here, for instance, is an officer in a hotel paying his $10 a day; he probably has a parlor and a bedroom; he bas the use of other rooms-dining-room, kitchen, &c. The question is, how many rooms does he occupy?
By Mr. THORNBURGH: Question. When an officer has a house of his ownl, his agent is euti. tled to be paid for all the rooms that he is entitled to have under the law?
Answer. He draws rent only for the number of rooms that he is entitell to have, according to liis rank, I suppose.
By Mr. ALBRIGIT: Question. What is the character of the troops at the posts you inspected? Have they or not a demoralizing influence on the Indians ?
Answer. My experience as to the intluence of the troops upon the Indians generally is that it has been the reverse of demoralizing. The Indians have more respect for, and they trust further in the troops, than in any other people they have anything to do with. They have repeatedly asked, and have almost demanded, that they shall have officers of the Army for their agents. They say, (of the soldiers :) You punish us when you are ordered to, but when you are not fighting us you are our friends; and you never cheat us, but give us what the Government sends us." That has been the case for years and years, for over twenty years of more or less experience among the Indians. As to any demoralizing influence exercised by the troops upon the Indians, if there is any charge or accusation of the kind, I think there is no truth in it, except that you may find an exceptional case, where something has been done that you may call demoralizing or improper. If such be the case a little investigation will perhaps show more bad results from other sources.
By Mr. MACDOUGALL: Question. In your judgment, could the War Department manage Indian affairs with more economy than the Interior Department does? Answer. I should say decidedly yes. That is one of the principal
. places where you can effect a reduction of expenses with not only equal but greater success in the protection of the Indians, of the whites, and of the country.
Question. State your reasons for that opinion.
Auswer. In the first place, you would save the expeuse of a great many agents, superintendents, or inspectors who are now paid. managing Indians you must have a physical force; not that you want to exercise it always, but its presence has a moral effect. You want to bare responsibility fixed, not divided. Place the management of the Indians in one department and there is no division of responsibility. Where now you employ a great many civilians to discharge certain duties connected with the Indians, you can dispense with some of them, and those duties can be performed by officers and men of the Army without adding much expense to the Government. I will assert, that by the transfer of the Indians to the War Department, the Indians will be better satisfied; they will get what the Government sends them, and they will get it at much less expense. With regard to schools, religious education, &c., I also assert that, under the War Department, the Indians will, or can, have as much assistance and as much instruction as they have under the present system. There is no disposition that I know of among Army officers to prevent that. It is a mistake to sup
pose that the officers of the Army want to keep the Indians in a barDarous coudition and to fight them. It is the most disagreeable duty that they have to perform, and they are as anxious as any class of the people that the Indians should be made self-supporting and peaceable. When the Indians have been deceived, and swindled, and goaded into violence, then the troops are called on to settle the difficulties. They are abused if they do not prevent murders and robberies, and they are abused if, when called upon, they punish and repress them.
By Mr. GUNCKEL : Question. Would this be practicable if your recommendation was carried out, posts abandoned, and the troops concentrated !
Answer. Yes, sir. My idea is that you should have one large post in the district, or near the district, where these Indians live, and that all the trading should be done at or near this post, under the control of the military authorities; that whatever the Government sends to the Indians should be faithfully delivered to them; that the Indians should be under military control; that they should be furnished with everything promised them, and that, if they did what they are forbidden to do, they should be brought to punishment. You can make the Indians themselves in a short time aid in that. The Navajoes have now a hundred men (uniformed) as a police force, of their own tribe, for the purpose of suppressing depredations and arresting thieves.
Question. One object of the Indian Bureau is to teach the Indians industrious habits, farming, mechanics, &c. Do you think that the Army can carry out that policy?
General DAVIS. Do you know how this industry is tauglit and practiced ?
Mr. GUNCKEL. I should be glad to have you tell us.
Answer. It is oftentimes theoretical, very little practical. Where it is practical it is done by hireil persons, the Indians doing very little, sometimes doing a little and sometimes doing nothing at all, excepting what the squaws may do. If the Government wishes to furnish the Indians with some farmers and mechanics, it will cost the Government no more wben the system is changed, and the Indians are under the War Department, than it does now. And with regard to the instruction of the Indians, I have been informed by men who have lived at Indian agencies that the schools which are reported as being in a very successful condition really amount to little or nothing. They will at times have a feast and get a large number of children to come in, and then tbey report a large attendance, whereas the usual attendance is very small. The children are irregular, coming at odd times, so that they really learn little or nothing. Take an Indian child, and he may be taught more by example than by precept; he may be taught the ways of the whites, to dress, and live, and work a little; and you may bring Indian children up so as to be industrious and self-supporting. But the most you can expect of the older Indians is to control them, to prevent them doing damage, and to protect them in their rights. I had an Indian boy whom I took' in California when he was quite young, probably four years old. I taught him his letters in a short time; brought him East and put him to school. He learned to read and write, and was an excelleut boy, quite a bright boy, but unfortunately he died, during the war, of pneumonia. That boy, however, had unusual advan. tages; he was at school in Boston and other places. These Indian children must be under a certain control in order to teach them any. thing. A boy who comes to school, stays for a day or two, and then goes off for a month, will not learn much, particularly when his parents are influencing him against the ways of the whites.
Mr. GUNCKEL. It has been stated here by Indian agents and others that the example of the Army, officers and men, is uniformly bad, as to intemperance, licentiousness, idleness, and tyrannical conduct toward the Indians.
General Davis. I would suggest, in the first place, that the Indian Bureau would make as bad a case as possible against the Army. That is very natural, and I expect it. I think that they would like to divert attention from some of the corruptions of that Bureau, which are too well known. With reference to the intemperance, gambling, and licentiousness of the Army at Indian agencies, I do not know for certainty ; but from what I have been told, and from my own observation, I do not think that the employés of the Indian Bureau have much to be said in their favor in those respects. I asked at some of the agencies whether the employés of the agencies had their squaws. They told me yes, they did, the same as ever. At one place they said they had not, that the agent did not allow it, but that it was understood that they had their domestic associations, if not in the buildings just outside at the tapers. And such, I imagine, you will find to be the case at every Indian trading-post you can visit. I am speaking now of the civil employés of the Indian agencies. The troops at those agencies where stationed are called upon by the agent for guards, protection, &c. If a man is killed at one of those agencies, the troops can do nothing with the murderer unless the Indian agent calls upon them to take action in the case.
Mr. GUNCKEL. Do you mean to say that the average Indian agent is no better morally than the average private in the Army?
General DAVIS. I am speaking of the employés of the Indian Bureau. I would say with reference to the Indian agents that they are no better on the average than the officers of the Army.
Mr. MACDOUGALL. You think it will be fair to compare the agents with the officers and the privates with the other employés ?
Answer. The officers will compare favorably with the agents and the men with the employés.
General Davis. I presume that you gentlemen are all well posted in human nature, and if you put a lot of men at a frontier station, in the full vigor and prime of life, with certain inducements and influences about them, it is very natural and probable that certain indulgences will be practiced, which perhaps we do not approve of, and should not, there more than in large centers of civilization.
Mr. MACDOUGALL. Have any of the officers in that frontier country their families with them?
General Davis. O, yes; most of those who are married have their familes.
By Mr. ALBRIGHIT : Question. If you were to abandou the military posts you have named, and which you recommend as fit to be abandoned, would you suggest the building of other new posts, or the enlargement of old ones?
Answer. I would suggest the enlargement of old ones, and in some cases new ones would be advisable, better selections being made for the posts.
Question. Many of those old posts that you have spoken of are in a bad state of dilapidation !
Answer. They are mostly in a greater or le:s state of dilapidation, and are requiring constant repairs.
Question. If the posts that you have named should be abandoned, and the troops concentrated in other posts, would that, in your judgment, necessitate a change in the branches of the Army, either to have more infantry, or more cavalry, or more artillery than now?
Answer. It would not necessarily. The distribution of these troops depends entirely upon the War Department, through the General-in. Chief, the division and department commanders. A station of cavalry has always to have accommodations for the horses. If cavalry is sent to a post and there are no accommodations there in the way of stables, they will have to be built. The distribution, as I understand your question, does not necessarily affect the strength of the Army or the relative strength of the different arms of the service.
Question. If your recommendation should be adopted with reference to the abandonment of posts and the concentration of troops in fewer posts, my question is, whether or not then there might not be less cavalry or artillery and an increase of infantry, and in that was a great saving be effected ?
Answer. My opinion is that the military force we now have is not too large.
Question. Can it be changed in its character ?
Answer. I would not change it at all. I think that the interests of the country, and the protection which the people have a right to demand in our western country, require all the force that we have. The artillery is stationed more in the East and on the sea-coast. It has got to protect our forts and public property, and I presume that all the artillery we have is necessary. I bave not any personal knowledge of the absolute necessity of artillery at those various posts, not having visited them to ascertain.
Question. A concentration of troops at fewer posts would not necessitate a change in the character cr number of the present force?
Answer. No, sir; not necessarily; but it would lessen its expense and increase its efficiency.
Question. You spoke of a saving of 50 per cent. On what was that?
Answer. It was estimated on all the elements of expense which enter into this question, and which embrace transportation, waste, and destruction of supplies, cost of buildings, keeping them in repair, and all those things. It is quite a complex question. I merely express it in general terms.
Question. You think there could be a great saving of expense in adopting your suggestion !
Answer. In my opinion.
Answer. On the contrary, I think it would be a benefit to the troops and the country in every way. I do not know of a single detriment to the country which would result from the concentration of troops into fewer and larger garrisons. The distribution of troops into small posts is expensive, weakens the otherwise efficient condition of the troops, impairs discipline, and is unsatisfactory.
By the CHAIRMAN: Question. Have you had your attention directed to any part of the South? Answer. No, sir; I have not been South recently.
By Mr. ALBRIGIIT: Question. Say that the strength of the Army at these posts is 21,000
men; what proportion of them is unfit for duty from the various casualties the troops are subject to?
Auswer. From 25 to 30 per cent. I have found over 50 per cent. in small posts. Generally the proportion is greater where the post is small. Where there are more troops together the percentage is less. I am speaking of the number taken out from active military operationsthe sick, those in confinement, those on special and detached service, &c.
Question. At the different posts that you have inspected, what proportion of the troops that were present in camp did you find physically unfit for military duty on account of climate, exposure, &c.?
Auswer. Generally the number uwtit physically for active duty was not very large. Most of the posts are healthy. Your question would only exclude the sick; it would not exclude those on special duty. But special duties are so constantly required of them that you have not the men for the ordinary military duties of the post. The number of sick has been very small, ranging from 2 to 10 per cent., the larger percentage being owing to the season, or to some epidemic or endemic. But the number of sick is generally small, because in that northern or northwestern climate most of the localities are healthy. Of course, in the summer seasons in certain portions of the country there is an increase of febrile diseases, intermittent fevers, and malarial complaints. Diarrhea or dysentery is one of the prevalent diseases in certain localities and at certain seasons; and in the higher altitudes neuralgia and rheumatism prevail to some extent. These may be mentioned as the prevalent diseases; but the aggregate is not a large percentage.
By Mr. MACDOUGALL: Question. Do you think that the Army, situated as it is in the West, could take charge of Indian affairs without any increase of officers or men ?
Answer. I do not think it would require any increase of officers or men. In order to carry out the policy of the administration and of the people it would be necessary, of course, to have some civil assistance in the way of farmers and mechanics and teachers.
Question. Is the Army so situated in regard to transportation as that rations and supplies for Indians can be transported without additional expense?
Answer. The rations and supplies can be transported equally as cheap as at present in every case, and much cheaper in some cases. In some cases we have transported for the Indian Bureau to considerable extent. And, inasmuch as the Army has frequently to send escorts for the transportation of its own supplies, the Indian supplies could be transported at the same time in connection with the Army transportation, and thus sare the expense of additioval escorts.
Question. Have you any idea of the annual cost of transportation to the Government ? Answer. I have not; but it can be obtained from reports.
By the CHAIRMAN: Question. When you traveled in the region of the Sioux, had you au opportunity to ascertain the number of warriors they had ?
Answer. I could tell, approximately, by referring to notes, in some cases. I had reports from the different post commanders, and others.
Question. Were these notes taken with reference to a report to be made by you?
Answer. We get information in relation to the Indians as to their habits, their characteristics, their peaceful or hostile character, how